- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: raspberry leaf
Other Names: red raspberry, Rubus idaeus, Rubus strigosus
Drug Class: Herbals
What is raspberry leaf, and what is it used for?
Raspberry leaf is an herbal product used by pregnant women as a uterine tonic to ease labor and delivery. Leaves from raspberry (Rubus idaeus), a plant with edible fruits, are most commonly used for medicinal purposes. Raspberry leaf is available over the counter (OTC) as dried leaf that can be used to make tea or as tablets and liquid extracts to take as supplements.
Raspberry leaf is believed to increase blood flow to the uterus and increase uterine muscle tone and contracting capacity. The therapeutic effects of raspberry leaf may come from the bioactive substances it contains, including tannins, flavonoids, and terpenoids. Animal studies show mixed results on raspberry leaf’s effects on the uterine muscle; some show a contractile effect and others show a relaxing effect.
What is raspberry leaf good for?
Raspberry leaf likely also provides nutritional support during pregnancy, because it contains vitamins A, C and E and minerals such as calcium, potassium and iron. Historical use suggests that raspberry may relax menstrual spasms and promote contractions during labor and delivery, however, there are no scientific studies to support any of its uses. Suggested uses of raspberry leaf include:
- Painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
- Excessively heavy menstruation (menorrhagia)
- Prevention of miscarriage
- Alleviation of morning sickness
- Stimulating and facilitating labor and shortening its duration
- Cardiovascular disorders
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Respiratory disorders
- Mouth, throat, and skin inflammation (topical)
Who should not take raspberry leaf?
Do not take raspberry tea if you have any of the following conditions:
What are the side effects of raspberry leaf?
There are no reported side effects of raspberry leaf. Overdose of raspberry leaf may cause:
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:
- Serious heart symptoms include fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness;
- Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;
- Severe nervous system reaction with very stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and feeling like you might pass out; or
- Serious eye symptoms include blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights.
This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What are the dosages of raspberry leaf?
There isn’t enough scientific information to know what might be an appropriate dosing of raspberry leaf.
- 1 cup orally up to 6 times/day; 1.5 g leaves/150 mL water
- Raspberry leaf overdose may cause gastrointestinal upset because of its laxative properties. Overdose is unlikely to cause any serious adverse effects and any overdose effects should resolve with discontinuation of raspberry leaf.
What drugs interact with raspberry leaf?
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.
- Raspberry leaf has no listed severe, serious, moderate, or mild interactions with other drugs.
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions about the medication.
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Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Avoid use of raspberry leaf during first trimester, it may increase uterine tone and the risk for miscarriage. Raspberry leaf appears to be safe for use during second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Limited studies show no evidence of adverse effects on the mother or fetus.
- There is not much information on the use of raspberry leaf by nursing mothers. Consult with your physician before use.
- Check with your healthcare provider before using any herbal products including raspberry leaf, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What else should I know about raspberry leaf?
- Raspberry leaf tea and supplements are possibly safe for most adults if taken in recommended doses.
- Take raspberry leaf tea and supplements exactly as per label instructions.
- Check with your healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplements, including raspberry leaf products.
- Herbal products often contain many ingredients. Check labels for the components in the raspberry leaf product you choose.
- Raspberry leaf is marketed as an herbal supplement and is not regulated by the FDA. Products may differ in formulations and strengths, and labels may not always match contents; exercise caution in choosing your product.
- Store raspberry leaf safely out of reach of children.
- In case of overdose, seek medical help or contact Poison Control.
Raspberry leaf is an herbal product used by pregnant women as a uterine tonic to ease labor and delivery. Suggested uses of raspberry leaf include painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea), excessively heavy menstruation (menorrhagia), prevention of miscarriage, alleviation of morning sickness, diarrhea, and others. There are no reported side effects of raspberry leaf. Overdose of raspberry leaf may cause vomiting and diarrhea. Do not take raspberry leaf during the first trimester of pregnant. Consult your doctor if breastfeeding.
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